Vauxhall aims to build up its light commercial vehicle sales, helped by a network of heavy van specialists.
The manufacturer wants to close the gap on Ford, whose Transit has become an LCV icon, helped by its Movano heavy van, which can now be ordered in rear-wheel drive and with a 4.5-tonne load capacity.
Vauxhall managing director Duncan Aldred said: “We’re number two behind Ford which has nearly double our share but it has a long history in commercial vehicles and Transit competes in a segment that we’re only entering now. Our job now is to close that gap.”
Vauxhall is now looking at appointing heavy van specialist centres to help Movano battle Transit.
However, Aldred said this will not be until 2012, and insists that Vauxhall will “always look at our network to provide the solutions in the first instance”.
The Vivaro medium van, built at Luton in a joint venture with Renault and Nissan, is due to finish in 2012. Aldred said negotiations are continuing with Renault, which is reportedly keen to build the replacement elsewhere, but he believes a solution will be found.
Separately, Vauxhall is piloting electric powertrain solutions in some Vivaros in anticipation of corporate demand, and Aldred said the brand is ahead of Europe’s 2015 target for LCV CO2 emissions.
The Combo and Astravan ranges still have several years to run however the next generations of these models are in the development and planning stages.